I wrote this three years ago for my English class, we had to write about a memory we had. This happened.
Third graders are evil masterminds.
I first realized this the first time I walked into my third grade P.E. class and felt the stares of at least fifty other kids my age as they turned to gaze at the new girl, a.k.a., me. A classmate of mine had been assigned to walk with me so I wouldn’t get lost in the maze everyone else called halls, so we walked into the massive gym long after everyone had already picked a team to play in class. The game we were going to play? Dodgeball, of course. The mass of students was divided into two groups, one on each side of the gym, while my classmate and I stood in the middle of no-man’s-land. But then my classmate left and I was left to stand there on my own, not knowing whether to go left, or whether to go right. It was a tough choice. It felt like it was a decision of life or death.
Who to pick, who to pick.
“Hey, new girl. You planning on staying there all day?” an odd looking boy with crooked glasses and an even more crooked nose called out to me, earning himself a few laughs from across the gym.
“Move it!” some girl called from my left, and I could almost feel as she rolled her eyes when I hesitated.
You see, to me this was more than just picking a team for P.E. class. It was about picking the group of kids that I would be with for the rest of the year. It was a lot of pressure to put on an eight year old girl.
“Come on!” the coach called from her spot on the stage, where she was sprawled comfortably on her overstuffed bean bag.
Taking a deep breath, I clenched my fists and headed right, praying I wasn’t making a huge mistake.
“Okay, kids! Everyone put the dodgeballs in the middle. You too, Arabella. Remember, no hits above the neck or under the waist. Start when I blow the whistle,” the coach instructed, and kids grudgingly trailed to the center of the gym, placing the balls in what could hardly be described as a line.
Once the coach made sure all balls were in the center, she leaned back on her bean bag, opened her book, and blew the whistle. And that was that.
At first, nothing happened other than all the kids from the opposite team huddled together, obviously scheming something, while my team lay scattered across our half of the gym, painfully clueless as to what was to come. Then from what seemed to be out of nowhere, the other team dashed forward and snatched all the dodgeballs. Granted, some of my teammates stumbled towards them, trying to get some of the balls, but their valiant attempts failed miserably and they were the first to get hit.
The rest of us who had stayed put soon realized our mistake.
The opposing team had everything going for them: they had all the dodgeballs, all the athletic kids, and most importantly, a plan. They also had all the luck.
My team? Not so much.
“Take cover!” a girl with bright red hair cried out, seconds before being smacked in the face with a flying dodgeball.
Soon, the gym was filled with cries of pain and fear as dodgeballs flew all over the room.
I let out a shriek and twisted to the side, trying to avoid getting slammed with a ball, which was kinda hard, considering everyone seemed to be targeting their hits in my general direction.
I somehow managed to catch one in my hands without getting hit, and I stared at it in amazement before remembering to throw it. Which I did. And of course, it just happened to hit the captain of the other team in the face. The second it did, the room was deadly quiet while the captain left the game, shooting me a deadly glare in the process. The silence lasted at least a few seconds before the other team attacked again, this time with more energy than before.
Everyone was crying and performing what should be considered impossible twists and turns in order to avoid getting hit, and I’m pretty sure the other team was planning my demise.
It was all pretty traumatic if you ask me.
“I should have picked the other team,” were my last words before a dodgeball flew straight towards me and hit me square in the face, knocking me sideways and into one of my teammates.
“We should’ve,” he agreed.